Ethan Thompson scored 22 points, including a 9-10 day from the free-throw stripe, and Oregon State overcame a four-point half-time deceit to push past UT-San Antonio on Wednesday night in Corvallis, 73-61.
The victory snaps a three-game losing streak for the Beavers and moves head coach Wayne Tinkle’s squad to a 3-3 mark overall. The Roadrunners of UT-San Antonio fall to 2-3 in defeat.
Thompson channeled his best version of his older brother and former Oregon State star Stephen, as he commanded the ball offensively and allowed the team to operate around him as the main focal point. This philosophy for the forty minutes saw three other Beavers reach the double-figure scoring plateau, including a pair of 13-point outputs from Warith Alatishe and Jarod Lucas, as well as a surprising stat-stuffing 10 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists from guard Zach Reichle.
For those who caught the action, this was definitely an interesting one to ponder over. Trailing a not particularly impressive Roadrunners group at the midway break was a cause for concern, as was the general overall team play yet again in this young 2020-2021 season.
While Dearon Tucker was solid off the bench up-front (5 points, 6 rebounds, 2-2 FG), the general lack of interior ability can be unnerving at times and another year of playing “who’s who” with the reserve unit won’t be good for this group’s long-term health. And despite playing a solid defensive game and forcing UT-San Antonio into 14 turnovers (compared to 9 assists), it really didn’t feel like Oregon State ever had the game in hand until the final minutes.
In Cormac McCarthy’s famous novel No Country For Old Men, when asked about it being a mess...Sheriff Bell responds that “if it aint, it’ll do till a mess gets here.” Here’s to hoping this is the worst of it.
Up Next: The “good news in a way” in that the Beavers’ tilt with USC this weekend has been cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols and now Oregon State gets a full week to regroup until they host Santa Clara next Wednesday (December 23rd) at 12:00 PM PT.